Runnin’ Rebels trampled by Aggies on road
In the first meeting since being bounced by Utah State in the Mountain West Tournament, UNLV was let down by a cold second half before losing by double-digits.
The Runnin’ Rebels were beaten, 90-75, Saturday, Feb. 5 from the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
UNLV was caught by a Utah State buzzsaw that came in winners of four straight by an average of 22.5 points per game.
The loss allowed the Aggies to leapfrog the Rebels in the Mountain West standings while falling to 2-5 on the road this season.
UNLV had won three of its last four before dropping their latest contest in Logan, Utah.
Now, the Rebels are 13-10 on the year and 5-5 in the conference.
Next, the program will face Air Force at the Thomas & Mack Center Tuesday, Jan. 8. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Falcons beat the Rebels by seven earlier this conference season.
Ultimately, UNLV was doomed by the latter of a pair of 10-0 Utah State runs in the second half.
Coming out of halftime, the Aggies put the finishing touches on a 10-0 that went back to the first half.
In that first 20 minutes, the home team shot 59% from the field despite UNLV’s red-hot 50%.
However, Utah State shot 67% in the second half while the Rebs dipped to 46%. Senior forward Justin Bean scored 32 points on 11-of-15 shooting with five made three-pointers.
The Rebels went on a run after falling behind by nine early in the second half, cutting the deficit to three about midway through the 20-minute frame.
However, another 10-0 run over the next three minutes or so put UNLV down by 11.
That run would eventually avalanche into a 16-0 run where Utah State built a lead as large as 17 points.
Over that time, the Rebels were scoreless for more than five and a half minutes.
The Aggies led by as many as 20 points at one point in the game, shooting 64% along the way.
Both teams shot better than 40% from three-point range.
Junior forward Donovan Williams made the trip but was out of action against Utah State with an ongoing knee issue.
Williams shared a team-high 17 points in the team’s last game against in-state Nevada – Reno.
Leading scorer and the nation’s reigning Player of the Week, Bryce Hamilton turned up his scoring prowess.
Hamilton got it going early, scoring seven points on three of his first four shot attempts.
He finished the first half with 13 points while playing with two fouls along with three other Rebels.
With 12:18 left in the second half, Hamilton scored his 20th point, marking his 12th 20-point game of the season and the 29th of his career.
About 10 minutes later, Hamilton crossed over into 30-point territory.
He has six 30-point games in his career, five this season.
Hamilton finished with 33 points on 11-of-21 from the field including four made three-pointers.
Guards Jordan McCabe and Justin Webster also scored in double-figures, adding 13 and 10 points respectively.